When SHTF you want to ensure that you and your loved ones stay as healthy as possible. In emergency situations, essential drugs and medication can be hard to come by which can leave you totally vulnerable if you or your family become ill.
Medical supplies becoming scarce means that you may have to take matters into your own hands.
Learning how to make penicillin antibiotics at home does involve risks but if you’re in a survival situation you’ll be glad to know what to do. You don’t want to be faced with having no option for medication when you desperately need it.
We’ve created a step by step guide for you to follow so that you can learn how to make penicillin at home in case of an emergency. We want you to understand the risks involved yet be able to protect yourself if you’re faced with the worst case scenario.
What Is Penicillin And What Is It Used For?
Penicillin is an antibiotic that was accidentally discovered in 1928 by Alexander Fleming.
It is generally used to treat infections that have been caused by bacteria. Penicillin is commonly used to treat illnesses such as pneumonia and scarlet fever.
As a medication, it is also used to help the body to fight infections in areas including the ear, skin and throat.
Is Penicillin Made From Bread Mold?
Penicillin was first discovered when it was found that the mold on dirty dishes (a type of penicillium fungi) could kill off bacteria.
Nowadays penicillin is made in a laboratory but the same concept still applies and it is made from a mold that is specifically grown with sugars and other ingredients via deep tank fermentation.
When making penicillin antibiotics at home, you can use the mold from bread.
Can You Make Penicillin?
It is possible to make penicillin at home but it’s also very important to be fully aware of the risks involved.
If you are able to get penicillin directly from your doctor or any medical professional, you should always do this instead of making your own. Homemade penicillin should only be used in an emergency situation.
Some people simply want to make penicillin in order to learn the skill and to understand the processes involved. This is preferable to making penicillin in order to use it for medical issues.
How Reliable Is Homemade Penicillin?
It’s really important to be aware that homemade penicillin will not be 100% reliable. It can also be actively dangerous so there’s no guarantee that it will help with an infection.
There are also limitations to homemade penicillin as with the variation made in laboratories. Some of these include:
- It does not treat superbugs. This is because many bacteria have become antibiotic resistant and so won’t react to being treated with penicillin
- It isn’t suitable for all viruses. Penicillin does not work against tooth infections or urinary infections
- Some people can be allergic to penicillin. This can result in extreme reactions and can be incredibly dangerous
Side Effects Of Homemade Penicillin
The side effects of homemade penicillin are similar to the standard medication you’d receive from your doctor, however they can be more extreme.
Some of the side effects of homemade penicillin include:
- Severe vomiting
- Hair growth on the tongue
Alternative Options For Making Penicillin On Your Own
Some survivalists and preppers are keen to constantly learn new skills and expand their survival knowledge. Learning how to make homemade penicillin can be an interesting process.
However there are alternative options for getting hold of penicillin if you’re considering survival situations and want to ensure you have stocked up on medical supplies. These could include:
- Requesting antibiotics from your doctor to have just in case of emergency
- Ordering antibiotics designed for animals. These are easier to get hold of but should only be used with extreme caution in a life or death situation.
How To Make Penicillin At Home
Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll need to take to make penicillin at home with our easy to follow guide.
What Does Penicillin Grow On?
Penicillin can grow on different types of decaying organic materials such as fruits (often apples and pears) or vegetables such as carrots. It can also grow on old bread.
To spot penicillin growing, look out for blue and green furry growths that are often circular in shape.
Things You’ll Need
We’ve put together a list of the equipment and ingredients you’ll need throughout the penicillin making process.
- Old Bread (ideally homemade bread as store bought bread usually has additives designed to prevent mold growth.
- Plastic container to place the bread in : this does not need to be airtight
- Distilled water: you can distill your own or buy online.
- Dextrose or Plain sugar
- Sterilized lace curtains or cheese cloth : make sure you sterilize these fully
- Agar or Plain Gelatin
- Petri Dishes: make sure you have 5 or more to use.
- Erlenmeyer flask: try to get at least one spare in case of breakage
- Milk powder
- Sea salt
Growing & Isolating The Penicillin Bacteria
- In a suitable container, place your piece of your bread in the middle and add 10ml of water in one corner to create moisture.
- Place the lid on the container (but do not make it airtight) and leave it in a place without much light at around 70 degrees fahrenheit.
- Check the bread daily for any mold growth. This can take 1-2 weeks depending on the bread and the conditions you are storing it in.
- You should expect a gray colored mold to appear first. When this mold turns to a blue and green color you have created the mold you need for creating penicillin.
Purifying The Penicillin
Unfortunately you can’t just use this penicillin straight from the bread. It needs to be cultured and purified more.
To do this you’ll need to:
- Put 200g of sliced, unpeeled potatoes in a 1 liter glass jar and proceed to fill it with water (ideally this should be distilled).
- Put the jar with the lid tightly secured into boiling water. Wait for about 30 minutes.
- Take the jar out and allow the jar to cool
- Sieve the contents of the jar through a material such as a cheese cloth which can work as a filtration system. Make sure that you keep the liquid.
- Add 20 g of dextrose or plain sugar and 20g of your agar to the caught liquid.
- Top up the liquid so that the volume measures in at 1 liter
- Divide the liquid into petri dishes and immediately cover them to prevent any microbes getting in.
The next step involves ‘streaking’ the prepared petri dishes by using a thin, sterilized wire to create 3 streaks of the penicillin mold onto each of the dishes.
Once this has been done, you should wait for approximately 1 week for your penicillin to grow.
Fermenting the Penicillin
It is essential to ferment the penicillin so that the spores reproduce and you have more to work with. To do this you’ll need to:
- Use a sterilized Erlenmeyer flask to mix together 1 tsp of each of the following:
- Citric acid
- Milk powder
- Sea salt
- Fill the flask until the water reaches 100ml.
- Move the flask back and forth until all your contents are completely dissolved.
- Add in the penicillin cultures using sterilized equipment
- Quickly cover your flask to prevent microbes getting in. Allow the flask to rest for between 7-14 days.
Extracting The Penicillin
Next you’ll need to extract the penicillin – let’s take a look at the steps required to remove everything else from the mix.
- Separate the solid parts and remove these from the flask. You only want to keep the liquid as this will contain the penicillin
- Use a coffee filter to strain your penicillin and catch all the liquid inside a container that you have thoroughly sterilized.
- Add Hydrochloric acid drop by drop to the penicillin liquid under you reach a PH measuring 2.2
It is essential that you use the penicillin as quickly as possible after completing this process.
Testing Your Home Made Penicillin
Testing homemade penicillin by trying it yourself is extremely risky and should only be done in a life or death situation.
Ideally, you’ll want to first test it out using petri dishes and either a drop of penicillin or a drop of distilled water. Within a few days you should be able to see which dish has been treated with the penicillin.
If you do get a positive result, you could try testing a very small quantity on a sick animal before you try it yourself. Again, be extremely careful and only administer a very small amount.
Conclusion & Word Of Caution
If you’re keen to learn a new skill or gain the knowledge about how to go about making penicillin antibiotics at home, we hope you’ve found this article interesting.
We understand that when it comes to your health and the health of your loved ones, you’ll do whatever it takes to provide medical supplies and assistance.
However it’s essential that you only use home made penicillin as an antibiotic to treat another human if you have no other alternatives available to you and feel that the situation could easily escalate to a life or death scenario.